Worldlog week 39 – 2014

22 ספטמבר 2014

This was an important week! On Tuesday 16 September, it was Budget Day in the Netherlands, the day on which the Cabinet announces its plans for the year ahead. After that, the Parliamentary Debate on the Speech from the Throne was held, dealing with the National Budget in the Lower House.

Every year on Budget Day, my colleague Esther Ouwehand and I wear outfits as statements to the Cabinet. With her dress, Esther called to stop the gruesome whaling and dolphin slaughter. Her dress, of the eco brand ArmedAngels, had embroideries of a bloodstained harpoon and a dolphin fin in red water. On the front, it read ‘Stop the killings!’. The embroideries are designs of Maria Tiqwah van Eldik. The images were embroidered onto the dress by Janny Slik. The images show a glimpse of what happens in the bays of Japan and the Faroe Islands, where hundreds of dolphins are slaughtered every year. As you may have read in my previous Worldlog, the Netherlands are finally beginning to take a stand against whaling and dolphin slaughter, but that stand could be much stronger!

Bxpmu7gIEAAllR3.jpg large

I myself wore a dress designed by Erny van Reijmersdal this year, with 100 euro notes as statement against greenwashing. The notes symbolise the financial interests the Cabinet has given top priority to again. The green stole and hat symbolise greenwashing: using green words to camouflage a cold and nature-unfriendly policy. The Cabinet takes measures particularly to serve financial interests, whereas ambitions for animals, nature and the environment are not realised. We keep hearing green words, but no more than that; a lick of green paint. Pure greenwashing.

BxplyFRIgAARsqZ.jpg large

We’ll deal with that when we get there: that is the short-term vision of the Cabinet. We need 4 globes for a world that consumes as we do. Greenwash concepts such as Green Growth and Sustainable Transition cannot disguise reality. Most parties can no longer imagine a world without growth and debts. But it is simply impossible to have infinite economic growth on a finite planet. We will have to break the vicious circle of economic growth, debts and squandermania.

Fortunately, there is also good news to report: during the Parliamentary Debate on the Speech from the Throne, we tabled a motion to call upon the Cabinet to come up with a long-term vision on climate and environmental policies. The motion was supported by a majority of the House!


To conclude, there is something I wish to share with you. I told you early September about an impressive talk by Philip Wollen, an Australian animal protectionist. He spoke before our members in Dutch Parliament on 6 September. Do you want to know more? Look at his speech here.

Until next week!